Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Groundhog Day 2016

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”—George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1
In Harold Ramis’ classic 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, TV weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) is forced to live the same day over and over again until he not only gains some insight into his life but changes his priorities. Similarly, as I illustrate in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we in the emerging American police state find ourselves reliving the same set of circumstances over and over again—egregious surveillance, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, etc.—although with far fewer moments of comic hilarity.
What remains to be seen is whether 2016 will bring more of the same or whether “we the people” will wake up from our somnambulant states. Indeed, when it comes to civil liberties and freedom, 2015 was far from a banner year.
The following is just a sampling of what we can look forward to repeating if we don’t find some way to push back against the menace of an overreaching, aggressive, invasive, militarized surveillance state....

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thought for 2016


"Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all."
ht  MR

Friday, December 18, 2015

Police State?

I keep hearing people say that something must be done quickly, "before the United States becomes a police state." Um, I hate to break it to you, but you're a little late.
What exactly do Americans think distinguishes this place from a police state? In a police state, state enforcers can randomly stop you and demand your papers. Like they do here (via "stop and frisk," "regulatory checkpoints," "border checkpoints" not at the border, etc.). In a police state you can be detained indefinitely without being charged. Like here. In a police state there are sadistic, power-happy jackboots everywhere, constantly looking for reasons to harass, rob or kidnap non-violent people. Like here. In a police state, the state's thugs literally get away with extortion, assault and murder. Like here. In a police state, you are treated like a criminal until proven innocent (and then still treated like a criminal). Like here. In a police state, everyone's communications and actions can be monitored and recorded. Like here. In a police state, you need the permission of the ruling class to do almost anything. Like here.
Let's clear up a few stupid assumptions that some people seem to make. In a police state, often a huge percentage of the population APPROVES of the situation, at least at first. In a police state, there is still "rule of law," there are still courts and administrative procedure, etc. In a police state those in power still pretend they are PROTECTING the people by way of their fascist tactics. And in a police state, a lot of people are still stupid enough to believe it. In a police state, MOST people do NOT get harassed. The fact that YOU grovel and kiss the ring, and as a result, haven't been directly threatened by state mercenaries, doesn't mean this is a "free country"; it means you are a good slave. And that is why police states happen: because members of the general public not only don't do anything to resist it; they don't even NOTICE it.
If you're worrying about the U.S. becoming a police state, stop worrying. Because it already did.

h/t LR

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The "Magic System"

A lot of Americans believe that the American “Founders” created a system that automatically fixes itself. They talk about the “balance of powers,” and think that it will always save them from a tyrant. The balanced powers of the US Constitution, however, were trashed within fifteen years and doubly-trashed just a century ago.

In the Constitution, the states balanced the power of the national government (the one now in Washington, DC.) Not only did the states control half of the legislature, but they decided if and how they would implement the edicts of the national government. And that included deciding whether a law was constitutional or not.

This changed in 1803 with the Marbury v. Madison ruling. This ruling – taught as a work of genius in American schools – was a fraud against the US Constitution. In it, the Supreme Court held that they understood the Constitution better than James Madison, the man who wrote it!

But worse than even this, they held – with no basis – that it was they who would decide what was constitutional or not. The states were tossed aside. Even the sitting President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, called it “a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

Marbury’s Judicial review (the Supremes ruling on constitutionality) merely involves one branch of the national government providing a check on the other branches of the national government. After Marbury, the states could not restrain the national government.

Washington DC was unleashed with Marbury v. Madison. What made it almighty was the 17th Amendment of 1913, which took the powers of the states and transferred them to Washington, by mandating the popular election of senators.

With senators being elected directly by the populace, the states were entirely cut-out of the equation. In their place, political parties gained massive power, and nearly all power was consolidated in the city of Washington.

And so it is today. Washington is an unfettered beast. The system will NOT fix itself; the mechanisms to do that were lost a long time ago.

h/t P. Rosenburg

Friday, November 27, 2015

FB Post

A strange argument I've often seen statists resort to--usually when they run out of anything else to say--is proclaiming that it's not that simple, and there are gray areas, and you shouldn't think that YOUR opinion is right and everyone else is wrong. Really this is just muddying the waters in order to cloud PRINCIPLES that they don't have any real response to. For example, in the last hour, in three unrelated discussions with three different statists in three different places, I saw variations on, "You just think that anyone who doesn't agree with you is wrong and immoral!"
Yes, as a matter of fact, on the issue of violence, I do. I am a voluntaryist. That means that I think that all human interaction should be peaceful, non-violent, consensual, voluntary. Anyone who is NOT a voluntaryist--i.e., anyone who "disagrees" with me on that point--is, by definition, an "INvoluntaryist." And that's bad. Because "involuntary" means aggressive violence.
That is not a "false dichotomy." It is a true dichotomy. If there are two terms, and "Term B" is defined as everything which is NOT "Term A," then you ARE one of those things. For example, if you advocate something that is decidedly NOT "anarchistic" ("anarchism" meaning opposing the existence of a ruling class), then you are a statist (someone who advocates a ruling class). If you don't like that truism, that's your problem. Logic isn't going to stop existing just so you can feel better about what you condone. Muddying the waters, talking about "opinions," and whining about people being "judgmental" or "extreme" will also not make your position more rational or moral, nor will it make TRUE dichotomies disappear.
-LR

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris

I'm the first one to admit that in the grand scheme, I really don't know anything. But here's the way I see it:
An incident such as just transpired in Paris has several elements to be scrutinized: motivation (such as, say, adherence to a violent ideology), facilitation (such as, say, how the killers were funded and/or armed), and provocation (such as, say, blowback, or retaliation to western foreign policy).
This list is by no means exhaustive; there are likely others, many others, but these are predominantly what I'm seeing discussed around the web.
But there's another, crucial element that I'm not seeing discussed so much, which is that of "enabling". The others I've mentioned above factor into the *launch* of such an attack, but *enabling* is what determines the *success* of the attack, once it is launched.
And what enabled the success of that attack—just as in many of the mass killings here in the US—was the people's ability (and right) to defend themselves being surrendered (forcibly or voluntarily) to the state, which is, in truth, entirely incapable of defending them.
So regardless of the *cause* or *reason* for the attack, the bottom line is, the *success* of the attack is attributed to one thing, and one thing only: a disarmed populace.
So we can debate the rest until we're all blue in the face, but until we establish (or return to) free societies—which would also be, by definition, armed societies—attacks such as these will continue, largely unabated.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Perspective

As a former statist, there are many ridiculous parts of the authoritarian dogma that I'm embarrassed I ever accepted. One is the idea that a "country" needs "leaders." Think what that implies. In your day-to-day life, you interact with all sorts of other individuals. And that's all "society" is: the collective name for lots of INDIVIDUALS. But for some inexplicable reason, we're taught to believe that one huge, arbitrarily chosen assortment of individuals (the "citizens" of one human livestock farm--I mean, "country") need some control freaks acting as intermediaries in order to interact with a different arbitrarily chosen assortment of individuals (the "citizens" of some other human livestock farm--I mean, "country"). Because gee, how could I and some random person in the middle of China possibly leave each other alone if we didn't each have a gang of narcissistic sociopaths claiming to "represent" us? Oh, wait a minute. That's exactly how and why pretty much ALL wars happen: because different gangs of power-happy psychos pit their pawns against each other in violent conflict, while claiming to "represent" subsets of humanity. One more example of how "government" is a problem posing as its own solution.

- h/t LR

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thought for the Day

Life is complex and there are no easy or simplistic answers. All paths include risks, and ultimately, all paths are determined by US. IF we are victims, we are our own oppressors. Our power cannot be taken, it can only be given. We cannot be forced to labor. It is a choice....maybe between that and starvation, but a choice just the same. Our world currently defines our values...plain and simple. When WE, acting as a collective, rather than being herded into one, decide liberty has value...warts and all, then only then, we will see it again.

- Anon

Monday, October 19, 2015

America is a bomb waiting to explode

 The United States is in decline. While not all major shocks to the system will be devastating, when the right one comes along, the outcome may be dramatic.

Not all explosives are the same. We all know you have to be careful with dynamite. Best to handle it gently and not smoke while you’re around it.
Semtex is different. You can drop it. You can throw it. You can put it in the fire. Nothing will happen. Nothing until you put the right detonator in it, that is.
To me, the US – and most of the supposedly free West – increasingly looks like a truck being systematically filled with Semtex....



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What do you think?

Guest post:


"What [you're] supposed to think about nuclear weapons, pesticides, medical drugs, vaccines, presidential elections, major media, the CIA, US foreign policy, mega-corporations, brain research, collectivism, surveillance, psychiatry, immigration…"

What you’re supposed to think vs. what you think

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Sounds of Silence

While walking barefoot over burning coals and glass shards - also known as “reading comments on Facebook” - I found this post from a well-known Libertarian:

“As a Libertarian, I believe in limited government, more personal freedom. I have been called a statist by some in the party, because I don't take the" no government" stance. I think some government is necessary. In your opinion do you think there is such a thing as good government and how should government be limited?”

While not a unique question posed in many of today’s political debates, it’s the responses that never fail to amaze. Here are a few unexpurgated examples:

“I think that the folks who want there to be no government can have a place in the LP and the LPO if they are willing to go with incrementalism within the electoral process.”

      (Compromise principles for Memberhip! We’re off to a great start….)

“Government is a business that serves the people. Protect us from outside aggression, Ensure fairness, Protect the weak, And create a public safety apparatus including roads and infrastructure. If the government ever forgets they work for the people. FIRE THEM!!! Vote for liberty.”

I think anarchy may theoretically be the best system but we have never witnessed a mass society premised fully on voluntary funding.”

“Anarchy seems unlikely to result in a single stable voluntary no force system--unless people somehow all of the sudden are saints. People living as saints may have been possible when people lived in primitive collectivist societies but the transition from mechanical to organic solidarity seems to have developed a lot of complexity has created a different more complex world where people seem increasingly individualistic and competing notions of the good life and other value judgments exist.”

            (ummmm……………riiiight….)

“Government is still a necessity. Unless we wish to return to the 1700's in regard to our ability to provide basic services to our communities. However, we have a right to expect ethical and competent leadership in government.”

            (Actually…you have no such “right” at all…not even an expectation!)

“There must be a system to maintain order in a civil society. Government is a necessity for that.”

              (Why? “Government” has been that failed “system” for all of recorded history)

There were many more pearls similar to the above. I stopped, however, because I developed a Charlie Horse in my eyebrows and a bloody chin from hitting desk.

There were so many misunderstandings, mis-applications, misrepresentations and “missed it by a mile” idealistic bumbling, I was compelled to channel my inner Napolitano: to effectively employ the Socratic method the judge uses in many of his excellent columns.

Taking advantage of the open forum that is Facebook, I thought I might finesse some critical thinking by announcing a Pop Quiz and posted the following:

Just where does the moral authority of "government" come from? Is it the "consent of the governed"? If there is consent, what need is there to be “governed”?

How does any entity form a command I am forced to obey without my consent and, ultimately, be thrown in jail? (capital offenses excepted)

If "Government is Force" (Geo.Washington), how does Force become moral when administered by Government? Why wouldn’t the same force have the same moral authority when exercised by an individual?
Was there ever a Government that was not imposed on people without force? Name it.

If  "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" (Byron), how can "limited government" not mean "limited corruption”, “limited tyranny"?

What Government of any political persuasion has successfully and consistently preserved over time the natural rights of all its citizens?

Isn't self-governance the ultimate "limited" and moral government? If not, why not? If so, what need is there for "Government"?

How have Governments, here and/or abroad, been doing with that "Freedom and Justice for all" thingy in our lifetime? Preserved and upheld? Or eroding and corroding?

Extra Credit Question: When making dogmatic statements about the "purpose of government", "authority" and “State”, who empowers you to use inclusive terms like "we" and "us" and "society"? Without the voluntary agreement of the Individual, aren't those Statist/Collectivist terms that contradict Liberty?


The Pop Quiz was posted in the original thread 4 weeks ago. As of this writing, no one has commented further on the initial question or offered even partial answers or comments on the Quiz. Personally, I find this deafening silence remarkable! Here are these quick-on-the-draw, self-anointed pundits on “limited government” yet, when confronted with basic questions about the essence of the concept or the pragmatic application of it, they are struck mute or present convoluted gobbledygook only a Jabberwok could appreciate!    

Should you feel so inclined, feel free to post in the Comment section below.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Loophole

 Predictably, in the wake of the recent dual homicides here on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, VA where I live, the strident screeds for gun control are ringing throughout the mainstream media courtesy of All The Usual Suspects paddling around the political cesspool.

Emotions are funny, volatile things, difficult to control under the best of circumstances.  It’s human nature to lash out illogically, unreasonably at an inanimate object that facilitated the excruciating and painful loss of a loved one, in this case a gun. At least Alison Parker’s father has that excuse to explain his comments about “shaming legislators into doing something about closing loopholes and background checks.”

All the usual anti-gunners are using the tragedy to grab sensational self-slobbering headlines: Obama, Hillary and our esteemed Virginia Governor, former Clinton shill, Terry McAuliffe and the rest of the opportunistic political class of congenital hypocrites.

It’s true: I’ve heard this song before; it’s from an old familiar score… that, for liberals and others similarly  deranged, a still unsettled score: disarming the American public despite inconvenient things like the Bill of Rights, Natural Law, The Rule of Law, even mildly oblique precedents from SCOTUS.

Damn their “Ayes”!

But rather than add another exercise in logic, an over-researched, over-footnoted, over-arching piece, resplendently redundant with credibly published facts and figures debunking the bull again, let’s take that bull by the tail and face directly the source of a rhetorically effective byword littering the media:  Loophole.

Certainly you’ve heard or read it all before: “we must close the gun show loophole… “…domestic violence loophole”… “…mentally deranged loophole”…people taking psychotropic drugs looph.. “ (forget that last one; never happened, never will but for different reasons).

Just what is a “loophole”? Where do they come from? If there is a “loophole” in the law, how did it get there? No one knows!  According to the Blowdried Set (see National TV News Anchors) and other selected punditry, there are “tax loopholes” for the greedy rich, “regulatory loopholes” for the greedy producers, even “Welfare and Social Security loopholes” for those sufficiently clever and motivated to game the system.

Webster’s says a loophole is: “an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules”. Wait! What? Aren’t the geniuses who write legislation smart enough to eliminate this never ending supply of “loopholes”? Apparently not. Hey! Maybe loopholes aren’t born of ignorance or accident at all! Maybe loopholes are as intentional as the law or regulation itself, specifically designed to punish most - but not all!

If loopholes are mistakes, the Logic Free Zone of Washington, DC and every State capital should be a ghost town tomorrow due to the epidemic of terminal incompetence.  If loopholes are a special and intentional creation, it must take an awful lot of work and a pile of evil. All things considered (Government + Politicians), I vote for the latter.

Beyond the basics – “You can’t hit people and you can’t steal their stuff”. (P.J. O’Rourke) -every law and every regulation is one more termite gorging itself on a corner of our freedom and liberty to live our lives freely in the pursuit of happiness.

The entity we call “Government” and the people who operate it - whether elected, appointed or hired -do not spend their time concocting ways and means to preserve and protect Freedom and Liberty. No, they labor diligently, blatantly, in front of C-SPAN cameras and consistently in the legendary ”smoke-filled back rooms ”inside the capital’s labyrinths, to eradicate it. Benignly, we are told they are working to “keep us safe”.

From the violent violations of the 4th Amendment to the astonishingly arrogant incompetence of the EPA, how’s exactly is that working out?

To the sociopaths and their myrmidons in government, Liberty is a loophole.  Freedom is a loophole. Natural Rights are loopholes, all of which must be eliminated, slammed shut quickly, thoroughly and when necessary, inhumanely.  And they will be. Because at no time in all of mankind’s recorded history has government -any government -served any other ultimate purpose than enslavement of its subjects, no matter how benevolent and benign its beginnings.

Not knowing his political philosophy, at least in the apoplexy of his justifiable rage and grief at the murder of his daughter, Mr. Parker’s comments can be understood. Hopefully, in calmer times, he will learn and appreciate the folly of his stated mission “to do something about crazy people getting guns” by “shaming legislators into doing something about closing loopholes and background checks.” Hopefully, he will understand violent crime requires nothing more than a fist; that everything else is just a tool to make the violence more efficient and lethal. But the crime starts and ends with the criminal. Not the tool he uses. Hopefully, he will come to appreciate that “shaming legislators” never produces “good laws”. Hopefully, he will see that more intrusive incursions to preemptively punish anticipated aberrant behavior would bring “Minority Report” from the silver screen into a way of life. 

More accurately: a way of existence.

Hopefully, Mr. Parker will come to realize all of this and he will speak accordingly to relatives, friends, even media audiences. There is no hope “elected leaders” will ever achieve that level of honesty.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mobocracy


Rummaging thru some boxes that hadn’t been unpacked from several previous moves, I rediscovered a great little book published back in 2002. The title is “Mobocracy – How the media’s obsession with polling twists the news, alters elections and undermines democracy”. It was originally recommended to me by friend James Bovard who has this endorsement on the back cover: 

 “Matt Robinson’s Mobocracy elucidates the chicaneries of pollsters, the craveness of the media and the confusion of the American public. Robinson shows how public opinion polls are derailing deliberation and dumbing down the political process. His book is a great antidote for anyone who still trusts the evening news.”

I interviewed Matthew one afternoon on WBAL/Baltimore and had a great time listening to him popping the pretentious balloons of TV’s blow-dryed news anchors and the pompous pundits of the print media who, by then – with a far less advanced internet, – were regaling unsuspecting viewers and readers with the True Revelations of Everything Everywhere through Polling Results. What Matthew Robinson did with Mobocracy was pull back the curtain Wizard of Oz-like and explain just how polls were rigged.

I strenuously doubt much of this will come as a surprise to anyone reading this --it’s probably  a safe bet that we’re all settled in for the next 16 months’ worth of dogs and ponies, bread and circuses but you may be amazed to learn just how bad it is; that beyond rigging the questions and skewing the results,  there is the staggering ignorance of the voters and how pollsters politicians and the media use that ignorance to parlay it into everything from voter results to law making.

If you were among the 23 million FOX News is bragging about having watched the first GOP so-called Debates and the accompanying Kelly/Trump slug fest, you likely saw Fred Luntz and his little focus group that both preceded and followed the snark fest. Personally, I found it surprising how transparent Luntz’s little group of orchestrated Mind Changers revealed themselves.

I’ve had some personal experience with focus groups. In broadcasting, owners of stations in large markets often hire companies like Luntz’s to get an idea how their on-air people are being received and perceived by a cross section of the station’s target demographic. Twelve to 20 people are brought in after meeting appropriate qualifications: age, sex, race – whatever. In most cases, they are played a segment of a certain show. Each participant has in their hand a dialing mechanism they’ve been given with instructions to turn the dial in accordance with how good they feel or how much they agree with what’s been said; turn it the opposite way when they disapprove. Trust me, entire careers have been made and lost with this technique. But as Robinson points out in Mobocracywhat questions get asked, how questions get asked, who is doing the asking – are all vitally important to the outcome.

I wanted to re-unite with Matt for another interview – but he has disappeared. Having left his managing director’s gig at Human Events not long after our interview, he became a speech writer for some Republican heavies during the Bush years and then…poof. The good news is that while out of print, Mobocracy is still available on Amazon – and at a very reasonable price. I just received an extra copy for a whopping $1.66! Some of the material is a bit dated  – but the basics on polling methodology are as true today they were then. As we roll into the 2016 elections, a quick read of Mobocracy could be very revealing, even educational in appreciating the cute and clever things the Media, Politicians and Pollsters do to mess with the heads of voters and what happens next.



If you get a copy, be sure to share your thoughts with the rest of the class at your earliest convenience….

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Peddling The Corruption Of Liberty

Note: I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking at length with Mr. Machan 20+ years ago in Atlanta with the release of "Private Rights and Public Illusions". I regret my knowledge and appreciation of the principles of Freedom and Liberty were insufficiently developed to appreciate at that time many of the observations he shared.
BW


"Ever since the idea of individual liberty has achieved some measure of credibility over the world, those who would be unseated by its limited triumph had to find some way to discredit it or trump it somehow. One way was to re-christen servitude, to make it appear like an even more important kind of liberty than what individual liberty, properly understood, amounts to.
When a human being is free in the most important, political sense, he or she is sovereign. This means he or she governs his or her own life—others must refrain from intruding on this life, plain and simple. That life may be fortunate or not, rich or not, beautiful or not, and many other things or not, but what matters is that that life is no one else’s to mess with. One gets to run it, no one else does.
Now this is a very uncomfortable idea for all those folks who see all kinds of benefits from running other people’s lives. But they cannot champion this now in so many words, what with individual liberty having gained solid standing, so the only way to remedy matters for them is to claim that their oppression brings even greater freedom to people than the respect and protection of individual liberty."
- Tibor Machan




Saturday, August 8, 2015

Boiling Frog Update


"As reported by The New American, Comey testified that he believes the government's spy and law enforcement agencies should have unfettered access to everything Americans may store or send in electronic format: On computer hard drives, in so-called i-clouds, in email and in text messaging – for our own safety and protection. Like many in government today, Comey believes that national security is more important than constitutional privacy protections or, apparently, due process. After all, aren't criminals the only ones who really have anything to hide?

In testimony before a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee entitled "Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy" Comey said that in order to stay one step ahead of terrorists, as well as international and domestic criminals, Uncle Sam's various spy and law enforcement agencies should have access to available technology used to de-encrypt protected data. Also, he believes the government should be the final arbiter deciding when decryption is necessary."

- J.D. Heyes

Read the article here

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cloak and Dagger

The State is “nothing but men acting in concert”. The grounds for justification of State action can only be “the same principles which differentiate the proper from the improper actions of the individual. […] Despite the lofty pretensions of most governments, the fact remains that they, like any other group of men, are nothing more than a collection of individuals. The ‘rights of a government’, like the rights of any other association of men, can be morally no different than the rights of the men who comprise it. All that which is immoral for men acting individually is equally immoral for men acting in association. There is nothing a government can morally do, which individuals by themselves cannot morally do. The group is ethically no different from the individual. It is irrelevant whether a man steals by his own authority or with the sanction of a million others, whether he takes money for himself or for ‘the poor’ or for any other group which did not earn it. Theft consists of taking a man’s property against his will, regardless of the beneficiary. If the individual has an inalienable right to his own life, liberty, and property, then morally his life and property are his own to do with as he pleases. It is just as immoral for a government to attempt to tax A’s earnings, regulate his business, or draft his sons [to go to war] as it would be for some isolated individual acting on his own authority to do so. The association of men into a group called ‘government’ does not free them from morality or sanction actions otherwise immoral,” and neither does the size of such a group or its support (Wollenstein, 1969).
- Christophe Cieters.


Note:
This is the opening graph of a compelling piece  that boils certain words, concepts, narratives and beliefs down to bite-size basics. For a better, clearer understanding of many of today's issue and their parlance, read the entire article here.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Thought for the Day

 Anarchism is not some positive, pro-active "plan" or "system" that describes how to make everything work. Anarchism is merely the rejection of a certain profoundly irrational and immoral idea ("government"), which has always, and will always, create violence and injustice.
-LR

 At the very core of “government” is its “authority” to rule by force and violence. Don’t do what “government” says to do or not do and the “government” will force you into submission through intimidation, threats, and ultimately violence. 

We have been indoctrinated to believe that “government” has such “authority.” None of us have that “authority,” i.e., the “believed” “authority” to exert intimidation, threats, and violence upon our neighbors. In fact, we believe such behavior is immoral and yet we somehow have “delegated” that “authority” to government? Really? Well yes, really and most everyone is satisfied that when the “government” exhibits such behavior it is moral and right. 

Undoubtedly, without “government” leaders would arise to coordinate peaceful cooperation and voluntary activities among the populace, but they would not be “divined” or otherwise bestowed with the “authority” to commit heinous acts (theft, kidnapping, caging, etc.)against the populace. 

Before one can argue or take a position on the merits or inevitability of "government,” one must first realize what the definition of“"government” is.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Coming to YOUR house??

Former guest Roger Pilon (VP-Cato Institute) writes a compelling piece about the latest government atrocities

"It is one thing to prevent government officials from discriminating against same-sex couples—that is what equal protection is all about—quite another to force private individuals and organizations into associations they find offensive.... A society that cannot tolerate differing views—and respect the live-and-let-live principle—will not long be free."

Click here for the rest of the piece.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Coming to your neighborhood?

"Time is the sole arbiter between Precience and Paranoia" is one of my personal homilies conjured during a lively discussion on "conspiracies" on KSFO/San Francisco.

With that  in mind here are some timely observations from friend John Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute:

Once upon a time, there was a nation of people who believed everything they were told by their government.
When terrorists attacked the country, and government officials claimed to have been caught by surprise, the people believed them. And when the government passed massive laws aimed at locking down the nation and opening the door to total government surveillance, the people believed it was done merely to keep them safe. The few who disagreed were labeled traitors.
When the government waged costly preemptive wars on foreign countries, insisting it was necessary to protect the nation, the citizens believed it. And when the government brought the weapons and tactics of war home to use against the populace, claiming it was just a way to recycle old equipment, the people believed that too. The few who disagreed were labeled unpatriotic....
More here:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How It Works

Wherever government officials sense a credible threat to their power, they invariably take every opportunity to crush it by any means necessary: this is the first principle of how governments function, and every libertarian is all too familiar with it. The post-9/11 era has brought this lesson home, far beyond the relatively narrow confines of the libertarian movement. And this latest tragedy, you can be sure, will be used to accomplish the same anti-libertarian ends: the calls to investigate “hate groups,” and even to ban “hate speech,” are already being heard. Of course, who and what constitutes a “hate group,” and who is hating whom are subjective evaluations that no government official is qualified to make – not that this stops the largely left-wing proponents of such a dangerous idea, who cannot imagine that these pernicious proposals will ever be used to target them.

Click here to read the entire piece

Monday, June 8, 2015

John Galt's Speech

Even if you have never read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" or seen the valiant attempt to make it into a 3-part movie, John Galt's speech,the heart and soul of Rand's novel, covers 56 pages in the paperback edition; it alone is worth the time to read. But in today's world of Instant Gratification, many who should won't make the effort. Many who should can't find the time. That's what made the movie - insufficient as it is to Rand's philosophy and prose - a work of art. Regardless of the critics, the viewer can at least get a whiff of what is there and may find a way to find the time.

For that hint of what lies within and beyond Atlas Shrugged , here is the edited essence of 
John Galt's Speech

No Comment Required

The array of ad hominems flung in the face of libertarian anarchists is astonishing. We are called utopian, simplistic, unrealistic, impractical, and unconstructive, at best, and quite commonly called idiotic, arrogant, ill-informed, stupid, malevolent, and even destructive. A man from Mars listening to these calumnies might be forgiven for supposing that libertarian anarchists are very bad people, indeed.
Yet we are not the ones who willingly support and justify the rapacious state under which everyone except the privileged few is now plundered economically and debauched morally. We are not the ones who've approved the slaughter of millions of human beings in unnecessary foreign wars, the imprisonment of millions in the USA for victimless crimes, the ruin of entire subgroups of the population by means of welfare dependency, the miseducation of generation after generation in government schools, where the children are fed propaganda and political correctness with delicate concern for their self-esteem but no concern for their ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers. We are not the ones who have voted into office corrupt politicians in one election after another, expressing shock when one of them is episodically revealed to be the kind of scumbag that, in reality, nearly all of them are. We are not the ones who've supported the unjust redistribution of income in a thousand different programs and projects and the destruction of wealth through political machinations that create regime uncertainty, placing private property rights at incalculable risk and paralyzing investors and entrepreneurs who might otherwise drive rapid economic growth. We are not the ones . . . well, the litany might be extended indefinitely.
Surveying this sordid vista, well might one ask, Who are the truly foolish, destructive, and malevolent people in the USA

h/t Robert HIggs

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The "Anarchy" of Patrick Henry


"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their  rulers may be concealed from them."  Patrick Henry
Henry's quote above and comments below beg the question: Why do we even need "rulers" over us? How can any "government" be anything other than the domination of a minority over the majority, held in place by the threat and use of Force? Force is immoral as well as the perpetual enemy of Freedom. History proves it has never been any other way. Only enemies of Freedom support "government" and its use of aggressive force against the individual. 
Don't take my word for it. Read the plain language of Patrick Henry, speaking at Virginia's Constitution Ratifying Convention - June 5, 1788. You might be amazed at his prescience.


 Your President may easily become king. Your Senate is so imperfectly constructed that your dearest rights may be sacrificed by what may be a small minority; and a very small minority may continue forever unchangeably this government,  although horridly defective. Where are your checks in this government? Your strongholds will be in the hands of your enemies. It is on a supposition that your American governors shall be honest, that all the good qualities of this government are founded; but its defective and imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men; and, sir, would not all the world, from the eastern to the western hemisphere, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad? 

Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt.

If your American chief be a man of ambition and abilities, how easy is it for him to render himself absolute! The army is in his hands, and if he be a man of address, it will be attached to him, and it will be the subject of long meditation with him to seize the first auspicious moment to accomplish his design; and, sir, will the American spirit solely relieve you when this happens? 

I would rather infinitely — and I am sure most of this Convention are of the same opinion — have a king, lords, and commons, than a government so replete with such insupportable evils. If we make a king, we may prescribe the rules by which he shall rule his people, and interpose such checks as shall prevent him from infringing them; but the President, in the field, at the head of his army, can prescribe the terms on which he shall reign master, so far that it will puzzle any American ever to get his neck from under the galling yoke.

 I cannot with patience think of this idea. If ever he violates the laws, one of two things will happen: he will come at the head of his army, to carry every thing before him; or he will give bail, or do what Mr. Chief Justice will order him.

 If he be guilty, will not the recollection of his crimes teach him to make one bold push for the American throne? 

Will not the immense difference between being master of every thing, and being ignominiously tried and punished, powerfully excite him to make this bold push? 

But, sir, where is the existing force to punish him? Can he not, at the head of his army, beat down every opposition? Away with your President! we shall have a king: the army will salute him monarch: your militia will leave you, and assist in making him king, and fight against you: and what have you to oppose this force? What will then become of you and your rights? Will not absolute despotism ensue?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thought for a Day

"Government authority is imposed with physical fear, religious authority through mental fear.
Since both are unable to use reason,  they threaten a jail cell or hell.
It's personal, pompous, egotistical, arrogant authoritarianism by politicians and priest."

Monday, May 11, 2015

STAY QUIET AND YOU’LL BE OKAY!

Free speech is necessary to free society for all the stuff after the “but”, after the “however”. There’s no fine line between “free speech” and “hate speech”: Free speech is hate speech; it’s for the speech you hate – and for all your speech that the other guy hates. . . .

Click here

Friday, May 8, 2015

It was anarchy in action.

"According to U.S. Marshal Dee Harkey, the reality of the old West was order without law, society without state. It was anarchy in action."

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monty's Excellent Explanation

Friend Monty Pelerin writes:

"There are no economic problems. There are only political problems. Economics is self-equilibrating, if not meddled with. Every political intervention is an attempt to thwart individual intentions and corrective adjustment. Political intervention does not help although it may hide (temporarily). Every political intervention makes the economic issue worse. Small targeted problems turn into large targeted problems.
If the political class continues to try to suppress the corrective mechanism, eventually the system seizes up and even collapses. That is what has been occurring over the last several decades."
Enjoy the entire piece here

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Robert Eschauzier - The Online Freedom Academy

If you haven't heard him, here's your chance. We'll be chatting frequently in weeks and months to come...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Good reads!

Thanks to Robert Eschauzier, TOLFA, some excellent pieces worth your time and attention:

Pioneer of Peace

 Government as Bridge Builder

Foreign Aggression

My conversation with Robert can be heard here 4/22/2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cause and Defect

Recently, I became acquainted with Robert Eschauzier, of The Online Freedom Academy (TOLFA) and author of the brief but thought-provoking essay below. Yesterday, I enjoyed a brief but enlightening conversation during which he agreed to extend our chat later this month for the Libertas Media Project which will be available here.

While it may be obvious to some, it is still surprising and revealing to others what can be learn, what may be suddenly revealed, from just a slight alteration in perspective. 

To that end, Robert's essay a read and see if you agree...
BW

(Excerpt)

Virtually the entire pantheon of current societal institutions and conventions rests on the continued belief in imagined laws of social causality which are easily and verifiably falsified by observation of the results that they have produced. Thus prevails, to name but one example, the belief that social interaction is essentially a zero-sum activity where for one group of people (the “poor”) to gain from social organization another group of people (the “rich”) must be made to lose from it; never mind that the opposite becomes almost immediately evident to anyone who bothers apply even a modicum of the scientific method by studying the observable and verifiable causality which shows that, far from being a zero-sum game, life is a value-added game where any one social group will gain far more if all other social groups will gain simultaneously.

Complete essay here 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

An On-Line Encounter

Robert Eschauzier debates instructively corrects Nelson Hultberg on the "The Golden Mean".

First read.

Second read.

Third read.

Here's a thought...

When they lose the moral/philosophical argument (against 'government', 'authority' and the State), statists love to fall back on "What's the alternative?" Then they expect Anarchists to describe how every aspect of everyone's lives, until the end of time, will all work perfectly without a ruling class. But statists are so comfortable with the authoritarian mindset that it takes a while for them to even comprehend what is being suggested.
The belief in "government" is the belief that some people should have an EXEMPTION from morality and should have the RIGHT to forcibly rob and dominate everyone else. The answer to such a horrendously bad idea is very simple: the "alternative" to imagining that some people have the right to be violent bastards is......... NOT imagining that some people have the right to be violent bastards. Nothing else needs to change. We still have all the technology, all the resources, all the cooperation and organization. The only thing we lose is a gang of parasitical crooks getting societal permission to victimize everyone else. Now, if some statist wants to point me to any problem which is IMPROVED by giving some people permission to violently victimize innocents, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, the whole "What's the alternative?" thing is as silly as saying, "But if we get rid of car-jackers, what will we have instead?"

-LR

Monday, March 16, 2015

"Government"? "Authority"?

“Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you

Friday, March 13, 2015

Priming the Pump

"...authoritarians and other sociopaths seek one thing above all else – control. Some are satisfied with just dominating the local PTA, but others want to dominate the world. It is just a matter of degree,

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Slouching Toward Extinction


With all the Cheers and Jeers of C-PAC 2015 fading into Yesterday’s News, let us carpe the diem to add to the growing list of oxymoronic fantasies in desperate need of extinction, a term heard early and often whenever conservatives and libertarians congregate: “Limited Government”. Like “settled science”, the Tooth Fairy and

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Futility of "Limited Government"

Too many "conservatives" and certain breeds of Libertarians argue for the benefits of "Limited Government"; that some Government is necessary, of course,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Anarchy Can Never Work?

Anarchy is best described not as a working system but as a “state of being”. A society or division of labor process that is in anarchy is in constant spontaneous flux. Its observable rate of change

Pragmatic Advice

4 minutes - take a look.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Here Comes the Judge

While I cannot predict the future of Anarchy - or anything else - Chaos, often blasphemously used interchangeably for Anarchy - may be closer than believed

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

State? Or No State?

The idea of anarchy strikes fear in the hearts of most people. Their imaginations run wild with scenes of social disorder, violent gang warfare, and unrelieved insecurity. Yet, strange to say, these same people live

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Other American Revolution

American policing has reached a state of incivility, mayhem and naked murder that should make any decent man blanch but the Milgram/Stanford experiment shackled to the Stockholm Syndrome that is the tax cattle milling about

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern; they promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
-Daniel Webster

Friday, January 9, 2015

Government crackdown on...

Once upon a time, America was the land of the free and the home of the brave, but now we are being transformed into a socialist police state where control freak bureaucrats use millions of laws, rules and regulations to crack down on anyone that dares to think for themselves.
How bad? This bad...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Irrefutable?

Some 30 yrs ago, I had the opportunity to interview George Carlin. Had it not been for our respective schedules and the obvious interruptions of "Reality", I think we'd still be talking today!

Here is one of his most succinct moments.